Idle Anticipation

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” Bill Patterson, Calvin and Hobbes

My last day of work is arriving soon. I will turn over my computer-yikes! Is it possible? I have checked work emails 24-7 for many years. What will I do when the urge hits to see what is happening at work? Well, I hope I smile and remind myself- ‘oh that’s right, I’m retired!’

I was raised around a puritan work ethic-make every minute count. And I sure tried to do that. I crammed into every hour not only many things, but I tried to make them as varied as possible so that I constantly had to switch hats as they say. A master juggler of multi-tasking! Well, my arms are tired and I don’t see the balls so well anymore.

I recently read a wonderful book (that I highly recommend!) A Gentleman in Moscow written by Amor Towles. The main character Rostov is questioned early into the book about his daily activities. Rostov responds, “Dining. Discussing. Reading. Reflecting. The usual rigmarole.” 

My new goal! Dining, discussing, reading, reflecting. Retirement rigmarole!

“Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation-what are they? They are the happiest people in the world.” William Lyon Phelps

A Year

So much can happen in a year. A day can be busy. A week can be full. A year can change your life. They are all made up of moments.

One year ago today, my son was diagnosed with stage IIIb cancer. He didn’t live close by. I wasn’t there when the doctor told him. I was 2000 miles away connected by some unseen electronic air wave cell phone line.

He made it. He went through chemo/radiation pre-surgery. Then a 15 hour radical surgery and then follow up chemo. We traveled by air to be there. To touch. To love. To cry. To encourage.To hope. To fear. To despair. To move into another day.

PET scan showed no cancer. Celebration!

Yet…this day brings back haunting emotions. Life is very short. We all live one phone call away from very sad news. Life changing  information.

My philosophy? Live each day without regret. Love. Forgive. Don’t try and be perfect.

Freedom!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” Thomas Jefferson

What a wonderful time for our nation as we witnessed a milestone in our legal system which just enabled more citizens to embrace a long with-held freedom. The freedom to obtain a legal certificate of marriage for same sex partners.

I think the definition of marriage, is the legal union between two people. At some point in time, the concept was added-between a husband and a wife (male and female). But that is a very limited definition. The full definition is a ‘legal contract’.  Having that legal contract allows one to speak on behalf of their injured/or medically impaired partner, to be provided spousal privilege  in not  testifying in court when it could harm your partner, and in issues related to taxes.

Many of these issues were unknown to me until I became friends with those who did not have those same freedoms. I am happy today that they can now experience them.

Our nation has many concerns to think about. We are starting the presidential campaigns and must look at issues related to our financial processes, and defense resources to name a couple. It is time to put aside social differences.

“I have never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Thomas Jefferson

Let’s be inspired by our founding fathers as we ALL celebrate freedom today!!

 

 

Happy Holidays

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabie

The 2013 census informs us that Ohio has a population of 11,570,808. That population has ancestry groups from Germany, Ireland, England, Poland and Italy. Our racial makeup is white, black, hispanic, asian, pacific islander, Alaskan native and mixed. Our religions are Protestant, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhists, Mormons and unaffiliated.

As I walk through the mall, the park, or go to work I will encounter people from these faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. All of them live, love, and may have families. We are similar in many ways. They may celebrate days that I am unfamiliar with, but at that celebration, they are often with loved ones. It is often a day of sharing memories, and receiving encouragement and hope for the coming days.

The list of ‘special days’ and ‘events’ in December is rather extensive:

Advent
St Nicholas Day
Pearl Harbor Day
Bodhi Day
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Virgin of Guadalupe
Santa Lucia Day
Las Posadas
Hanukkah-Festival of Lights
Winter Solstice
Christmas
Kwanzaa
New Years Eve

If all I ever said to any person I passed was: Merry Christmas–or Happy Kwanzaa–or Happy Hanukkah I would be exposing my own arrogance that what ever it is that I celebrate; all others must celebrate that as well. It is to ignore the many festivities of the month.

What I am really wishing people is a time of good will. An opportunity to enjoy time with family and loved ones.  To say Happy Holidays is to wish them a month of good days. A season of fun.

Saying Happy Holidays is actually a broad respect for all people. It is not exclusive. It does not exclude Christmas. It does not exclude Hanukkah. It does not exclude any of those days.  It is inclusive.

Most importably I suppose is the way we send our greeting. The spirit in which we interact with others. Am I really wishing them good will? Or am I pushing my own agenda? People can tell.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”   John C Maxwell